The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer, and summer is well on it’s way to little old New Zealand! That means it’s definitely time to start thinking of how to keep our family safe from the hot sun. Most Kiwi’s will remember the Slip Slop Slap commercial that played when we were young and the message is no different today than it was then!
Slip… into a shirt
Our first instincts when the sun comes out is to start wearing singlets. Which is fine while you’re indoors. But no so great out in the summer sun. Instead, if you need to go outside for any length of time, slip on a shirt with better coverage over your shoulders, chest and back for better protection.
Slop… on some sunscreen
This one is a little more tricky. Recent medical data has been showing that kiwi kids (and adults) are lacking in vitamin D which leads to health issues like brittle bones. But… the summer sun is too hot to be in without some sort of protection on our skin. The solution is fairly simple. You only need about 10-15 minutes of naked sun to get your daily vitamin d dose so let the kids play outside in the early morning sun or the late afternoon sun without sunscreen and slop on that sunscreen for the rest of the day. Don’t forget to reapply every couple of hours and to put it on the tips of your ears, back of your neck, the backs of your legs and your feet! You’d be surprised how often people forget those areas!
Slap… on a hat (and sunglasses)
Our scalps may be covered in hair but they can still get burnt! So protect your heads with a sunhat and your eyes with sunglasses. For better protection, find a hat that covers your face, ears and back of your neck. Oh, and don’t forget shoes! Hot concrete burns feet!
Avoid the midday sun!
That midday sun is HOT! HOT! HOT! So whenever possible avoid being out in the direct sun between the hours of 10am and 4pm. If you do need to be outside between those hours stick to the shady areas as much as possible and make sure you Slip, Slop, and Slap.
Drink plenty of fluids
Obviously the best fluid to be drinking is water but sometimes that’s not possible. So make sure you drink plenty of cool fluids whenever possible to keep your body hydrated. If you can, carry around a sipper bottle of water with you as a just in case!
Never, never, NEVER leave your kids in the car!
Last but not least, NEVER leave your kids in the car. It doesn’t matter how fast you will be in or out of the shop or if baby is sleeping so soundly that you don’t want to disturb them. It’s not safe. Too many babies and children have died or been hospitalised simply because they were left in the car during the hot summer sun. Let’s try to avoid that this summer please.